When Liverpool bought Belgian star-in-the-making Divock Origi this summer, the move came with one major stipulation in order to make it go: Origi had to return to Lille for a year on loan, both to help him develop and apparently because the young striker felt he wasn't quite done in France yet.
That lead Liverpool to buy Mario Balotelli to help bolster their striker depth in the meantime, a move that hasn't quite lived up to hopes and expectations, especially while Daniel Sturridge has been out injured. Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert have certainly had some decent moments on the pitch, but on a whole have just been decent. And Sturridge has been, well, injured (thanks again for that, Roy).
The move has worked out well for Origi, though, with four goals and a pair of assists in all competitions for Lille, as well as a goal and assist for Belgium against Andorra over the weekend. Lille stand in fourth place in Ligue 1, two points out of second and in the midst of a very solid start to the season overall, largely thanks to the performances of Origi.
Now, Origi's strong start coupled with Liverpool's lack of a strong start at the position has reportedly prompted Brendan Rodgers to look in to what it will take to get Origi out of his loan and back at Anfield in January. Such a task won't be as easy as a typical loan recall; given the "give me this loan or you don't sign me" nature of the deal, there is no recall clause in the loan, so Rodgers will have to find a way to convince both Lille and Origi to agree to end the loan early.
Whether or not such an attempt will be successful is certainly up for some measure of debate; Lille would take a huge loss to their squad as a result, damaging their hopes of success in both Ligue 1 and the Europa League. Plus, Origi would go from a situation where he's the primary starter at center forward to one where most of his minutes will be as an impact sub off the bench. That combination makes the proposition of getting Origi at Anfield ahead of schedule a tricky one at best.
It would certainly be lovely to get Origi back early, as his quality would be tremendously helpful to Liverpool right now, but don't get your hopes up that we'll be seeing him in a Liverpool shirt before the summer.
- Liverpool Prepared to Handle Fixture Overload
- Rumour Mongering: Competition Grows to Land Johnson in January
- Alberto Moreno Fit to Face QPR Despite Missing Spain Match
- Marsh, Verheijen: Jurassic Hodgson Can't Suppress 35 Years of Translated Methods
- Jordan Henderson: Vice Captaincy is "A Sign Rodgers Trusts Me"